What do you do exactly?
Choose your location to get a site experience tailored for you. They use algorithms as a tool for business analysis and apply algorithmic thinking when making strategic decisions. A recent BCG research project has been examining CEO tenure in all its aspects and working toward just such an algorithm.
It involved the use of AI and included in-depth interviews with 14 prominent CEOs and board directors. By identifying the most successful CEOs and then isolating and analyzing their distinctive characteristics, we now know the most promising components of an algorithm for a successful 21st-century CEO tenure.
That might seem obvious, yet CEOs fail—alarmingly often—to follow through. The Moves That Matter Most. The third criterion of success, Great Legacy, is not measurable in the same way but was discussed extensively during interviews.
After all, maintaining a high-level performance is just as difficult as boosting a low-level performance. They can be distilled into five broad components: It is on these five features that the success algorithm is based. What really differentiates the more successful CEOs is their prowess at, and integration of, all five of these distinctive components.
The following account is backed by AI analysis and enriched by the experiences and techniques cited by the CEOs and board directors interviewed during our research.
They develop this agenda from a fact base informed by customer pain points, competitive realities, and the economics of competing alternatives.
They keep a sharp focus on the real value drivers of the business, including the capital allocation strategy, and they communicate the need for the rest of the organization to maintain that focus as well. The way that CEOs communicate is very revealing in this regard. Less successful CEOs, in their communications, generally do convey some aspects of their strategic vision, but they tend to neglect elements that would increase the plausibility of their ambitions and would inspire confidence in their ability to execute.
For example, they might tell a stirring story based on megatrends but fail to show any links to the value drivers of the business.
Or they might devise a stylish mission statement but offer few plausible ideas for realizing it. The more successful CEOs tie together all aspects of a strategic narrative. Then carefully make strategic bets consistent with those megatrends. Ensure that you build the capabilities required to deliver on those bets, and make the required financial investments with likely returns.Robert Maranto is the Twenty-First-Century Chair in Leadership in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, USA.
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